Aug. 17, 2018

Hagåtña — There is another error in Bill 323 as presented to the administration by Legislative Secretary Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee. 

This error could make moot the tobacco tax increase. Additionally, an oversight of the practical application to real property tax means collections won’t be available until Fiscal Year 2020. 

With these discoveries, there is a concern of eroding revenues projected for Fiscal Year 2019. 

Of course, if Sen. Mike San Nicolas hadn’t convinced his peers to repeal Public Law 34-87, not only would we have path for a stable and successful Fiscal Year 2019, the Guam Memorial Hospital and the Department of Education would have $40 million in dedicated funding. 

When they repealed the measure without ensuring that revenue sources are in place that would augment the expenditure reductions necessary to meet the anticipated $145 million General Fund shortage caused by the federal tax cuts was irresponsible. It leaves the stability of the government for Fiscal Year 2019 in question. 

The governor’s team continues to review Bill 323.

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